The Swedish tech-company Nowhere Networks works together with a number of shipping lines to provide passengers with high speed and low latency connection during their voyage.
"So far, the only broadband alternative at sea has been the Internet via expensive satellite or poor LTE connection. Those connections are rarely sufficient for today's modern and demanding passengers […]," the company wrote in a press release.
Nowhere Networks started the year 2017 with the idea of creating a radio link system for ships that would reach over 50 km from the coast with the highest possible capacity and which could be scaled up through normal sales and distribution.
CG Sänne, Vice President and Sales Manager, Nowhere Networks, explained, "We quickly realized that the need in the market was much broader than that of normal sales and distribution. Therefore, a year ago, we decided to make life better for our customers by creating a full service concept. This includes installation, mast rent, operation, Internet, and everything else required for the vessels to handle todays customers who require constant connection and also the vessels IT operations increasing need for more broadband."
In order to achieve long reach and high capacity, the company uses highly positioned heavy-duty antennas both on land and ships. Next, it combines the moving and stabilized antennas with cloud-based software that monitors, adjusts, and ensures that the ships get the best possible connection.
According to Nowhere Networks, shipping lines serving more than 15 million passengers/year in the Baltic are involved in creating the network, providing coverage to and from Stockholm, Visby, Helsinki, and Tallinn. "This is just the beginning," Asbjörn Frydenlund, CEO, Nowhere Networks, noted before adding, "By the end of the year we will cover traffic to Turku, Riga and Oskarshamn. At the current rate, we will have digitalized the entire Baltic Sea by the end of year 2020. This means that ships and travellers can be fully connected at the same speed and with the same stability as on mainland."
For example, Eckerö Line has used the Nowhere Networks radio link technology for approximately one year on the line between Grisslehamn and Mariehamn. Kenneth Påvall, IT Infrastructure Manager, Rederi AB Eckerö, explained, "The need for data capacity is constantly increasing and the combination of sufficient reach and high capacity is a challenge. After evaluations we have now chosen the solution that we believe will provide the best capacity. The projects have run smoothly and we are approaching our goal of having a stable and fast broadband to all passenger ships in our fleet. Cost-effectiveness is important and the fact that vessels operate on routes where other shipping companies also have the same interest in fast broadband is an advantage."
Frydenlund summed up by saying, "The demand for safe and cost-effective broadband is enormous. This is a breakthrough that now makes it possible to work, surf and manage social media the same as on land. We build broadband capacity on ships at a level that nobody had thought was possible."
Photo: Nowhere Networks